The road trip to Rochester has often been a fruitful one for Tatura over the years and the three-quarter time score on Saturday suggested that trend might continue.
The Bulldogs clung to a nine-point lead at the last break. However, injuries to playing coach Jamason Daniels and speedy wingman Tim Lanyon in the final moments of the third quarter were ominous.
The loss of the two experienced cogs threw the Bulldogs’ midfield into disarray and allowed Rochester to regain its ascendancy around the contest.
The Tigers on-ballers piled on the pressure as the undermanned Bulldogs tried everything in their power to stem the flow.
Despite Tatura’s gallant efforts, the flood gates were opened at about the five-minute mark, as Rochester’s running brigade took control and piled on eight goals to secure a runaway victory.
James Wall was dashing in defence as he continually thwarted the Tigers’ forward thrusts and the efforts of Che Walls to nullify star Rochester forward Steven Stroodbants for the first three quarters was impressive.
Tom Miller also showed plenty of dash off half back and showed supporters that he is about to resume his status as one of the league’s premier back men.
The Bulldogs’ form over the first three quarters was impressive as the likes of Linc Wellington and Andrew Ciavarella continually forced the ball forward and their efforts were well rewarded by young forward Matt Ryan who kicked four exciting goals.
Ryan’s high marking in the goal square had the crowd on its feet on more than one occasion.
However, all efforts were in vain as Rochester delivered another blow to the Bulldogs’ season.
The Bulldogs’ injury woes began prior to the game with the late withdrawal of clever forward James Sullivan, and this was exacerbated by the injuries to Daniels and Lanyon.
The final result was a disappointing one for the Bulldogs’ brains trust, particularly in light of what seems to be a serious injury to coach Daniels.
On a brighter note, the form of youngster Charlie Hill over the past few weeks has been promising for the Bulldogs and the form of the Under-18s demonstrates a bright future for local talent.
Final scores: Rochester 11. 15. 81 defeated Tatura 8. 7. 51.
Best players: James Wall, Che Walls, Matt Ryan, Tom Miller, Linc Wellington and Andrew Ciavarella.
Final scores: Rochester 15. 12. 102 defeated Tatura 5. 5. 35.
Best players: Zavier Ballis, Bryce McDonald, Steve Beale, Jonah Vraca, Jared McMahon and Zac Trevaskis.
Final scores: Tatura 7. 13. 55 defeated Rochester 5. 8 38.
Best players: Ethan Moor, Tyson Coonerty, Cade Dealy, Aiden Moor, Mason Farley and Callum Minutoli.